Saturday, August 15, 2009
digitally altered photo -wikimedia.org
Pink elephants are a joking way to describe the hallucinations – strange, imaginary visions and thoughts – you might see if you are excessively drunk or under the influence of drugs. A pink elephant is also used to mean something extraordinary.
Pink elephant is also often used when talking about how hard it is to not think of something once it’s been mentioned. If I tell you: “Don’t think of pink elephants,” what are you going to do? You’re going to think about pink elephants.
The approximate opposite of a pink elephant is the elephant in the room or elephant in the living room. “They ignored the elephant in the room: their daughter still would not speak to them until they agreed to let her go to the beach with her friends.”
This sort of elephant is so big you can’t miss it. Everyone knows it’s there, but nobody mentions it, usually because there seems to be no happy solution to whatever problem that elephant represents.